DOCTOR RACH – ADVOCATE FOR CHILDRENS HEALTH AND NUTRITION & MOTHER OF 4 GIRLS
EVERYONE HAS A STORY – HERE IS MINE
I am originally from Australia and was busily raising my young family and running my own practice in Sydney when my husband was offered a new role in his company in the United States. I had been to the United States for vacation before and I knew how beautiful and friendly the people were so I agreed with my husband that we should take the opportunity and move over. I sold my practice in Sydney and we scooped up my 4 girls all under the age of 10 and flew over for our new adventure.
My girl’s names are Pascal, Charlize, Coco Rose and my baby is Scarlett. As a mother of four, I am very passionate about children’s health and nutrition. I am not one of those moms that monitor every morsel of food that goes into my families mouths but I do make sure that they are getting within their diet all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients they need to be healthy and to develop properly.
Whenever you settle in a new area one of the first things you do is locate your essential services. You know – your gas station, your post office, your hair dresser and of course, your supermarket. My first experience at an American “Mega” Mart was somewhat confronting. The first thing I noticed was that the fruit and vegetable section was very small. That was a little concerning because I knew how important it is to have a good selection of produce. I thought to myself: ‘How can this place be so BIG but have such a small fruit and vegetable section?’
Then I saw it and to be quite honest it astounded me: Aisles and aisles of pre-packaged processed foods. Where was I to begin?
The children’s cereal aisle looked more like a candy store to me. Oh the selection…. Endless and endless choices… Marshmallows and chocolate in cereal for breakfast? Really? I started reading the back of the boxes of children’s breakfast cereals I had never seen before. Cereals with almost no nutrients were wrapped up in a shiny box of whatever the latest kids movie that was showing. Should the choice of the food I give my kids really be determined by the toy or game that they want that’s included in the box? My kids were better off actually eating the box than they were eating the contents of most of the cereals I examined.
Then I moved over to the refrigerated section. What the? How much electricity was this store using to keep all these fridges running? There were aisles and aisles of every kind of frozen food that you could think of. Frozen burritos, Frozen fish sticks, frozen chicken nuggets…. Did anyone actually cook anymore? Or did everyone just heat up something out of a box and give that to their child for dinner? I was going to have to spend a good week in this store navigating it like I was Christopher Columbus navigating a new land. I know there is something healthy to feed my kids in this store somewhere. I hope!
As someone who understands nutrition, I always turn around the back of products to see exactly what are in the ingredients before I buy anything. What shocked me next was that all this sugar was being hidden in the ingredients list. There are over 50 names for sugar that companies use to hide sugar content on their ingredient list. Names such as dextrin or soribitol or maltodextrin are used to confuse the consumer and hide just how much sugar is contained in each product. So without us even knowing, American kids are having 20, 30 and even 50 teaspoons of sugar EACH AND EVERY DAY.
‘This can’t be right!’ I thought. ‘Children rely on us as adults to teach them and to provide to them a good source of food’. But what are the food companies providing for them? SUGAR…. And why? Because it’s sweet, it doesn’t satisfy, and kids will want to come back for more. I was becoming a little angry with these hugely profitable food companies exploiting our children.
Then I enrolled my kids at school. The school looked great and they told me that they had a cafeteria where most of the kids eat their lunch. The price for lunch was so cheap that I sent my older kids off with some money in their pocket and asked them to choose a healthy option at the cafeteria. When they came home they told me they had 2 options that day: pizza or mac & cheese. I contacted the school and they confirmed that was the choice. ‘Why is there not a healthy option?’ I asked. ‘The kids won’t eat it’ they replied.
I realized something. Treats were not actually treats anymore. They were now staples in American children’s diet. Pizza, ice cream, salty snacks, soda were being consumed every day like it was an apple or an orange or a vegetable.
Surely this diet must be having an effect on the children of America. I did some research. I found that 1 in 3 American kids are either obese or overweight!!! What!!! Then I noticed it. Many of the kids that I saw around me at the school or at the shops were overweight. Many look like they were struggling for energy. No wonder… With the sugar overload in their diet. They were continually going through sugar ups and sugar downs. Their bodies were storing up excess fats.
Studies show that if you are overweight and obese in your childhood then it’s very likely that you will also be overweight and obese when you are an adult.
Then we went out to dinner at a “family” restaurant. The cheap options on the kid’s menu included fried chicken nuggets, French fries and a soda. Hey, for just 20 cents more I could upgrade to where my child could have a soda cup that was bigger than her head. ‘What? Free refills? You mean I can fill that gigantic cup up as many times as I like?’ There is no such thing as a free refill in Australia so this was a new concept. I saw kids gulping down soda like they were in the Sahara and had just found water. Problem is, soda does not actually quench your thirst. So those same kids would refill their cups for the trip home.
That’s like mixing 20 teaspoons of sugar with carbonated water and chugging it.
Now as a mother, I know that I have to give my children a good form of vitamins and nutrients, as they are not always going to get it out the nutrient deficient food that is available. With all children it can be hard to get them to eat consistently enough of the good foods to absorb the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that they need.
So what is available to help kids? I went back to the supermarket to find some healthy options. I asked the nice store clerk where I could get some healthy food options for my children. ‘Kids vitamins are in aisle 5’ he said. I discovered by what he meant by “kids vitamins” were actually gummy bear vitamins covered in sugar. No trying to hide the sugar here folks. We can see it on the outside. So let me get this straight: I am meant to give my kids more sugar just to get vitamins into them? I was not at all happy with this option. I want to reduce my kids sugar intake. Not increase it.
That’s when I looked into nutritional shakes. I thought this would be the perfect way to help get the good stuff into my kids. So I researched the top brands of nutritional kids shakes on the market and guess what? The first ingredient is usually water, and the second ingredient is almost always sugar. So once again, the vitamins and minerals my children need are wrapped up in more sugar! I couldn’t believe it.
That’s when I came across the idea for Kidz Shake. I wanted something that had ZERO sugar in it and nothing artificial. Artificial sweeteners are in many cases just as bad as sugar. Then I wanted to have it packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Not just a little but a real BANG of the good stuff they need. Finally, it had to be delicious. It was no use having a great healthy shake if I had to force feed my kids to drink it. It needed to use natural sweeteners found in nature, not developed in some laboratory. It tastes as good as any milkshake you can buy or make at home.
My kids have this for breakfast everyday and they love it. My 2 year old wakes up and says “shake, shake”. There are 4 different flavors and we add different fruit to it on occasion or healthy nuts to change it up.
I can reduce their sugar intake and give them all the vitamins and nutrients they need before they even catch the bus for school. They come home. They are usually hungry from their busy day. We make another shake. Its great to use at anytime.
As my friends and families came over and tried the KidzShake I saw that there was more than just me that were concerned about their children’s nutrition. It was time for others to have it so they could use it in their family.
And yes, it’s good for adults as well. We often make a bigger portion in our mixer in the morning and my husband and I have a glass as he races out the door for work.
As a doctor and a mother, I couldn’t think of a better and easier product for my child. I know your family will love it as much as my family does.
Doctor Rach Social